Fantasy Football Running Backs – Third Tier

Jul 18, 2008

We’ve done the Big Dog RBs and the Second Tier RBs, now it’s time to look at the next wave of RBs.  These are likely your #2 backs unless you opted to go QB or WR early (which isn’t a bad idea).

Willie Parker – Fast Willie piled on the yards last year (1316 to be exact), but didn’t make many trips (2) to the endzone.  I don’t see Big Ben tossing as many TD passes next year so that number should go up.  The problem I have with Willie is the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall.  He scares me if I’m a Willie Parker owner.

Jamal Lewis – Jamal had a terrific season (1552 total yards, 11 TDs) last year with Cleveland, but I just don’t trust him to be my #1 RB.  I expect their passing attack to take a step back next year, which will make it harder to run.

Ryan Grant – Ryan Grant came in and answered Green Bay’s prayers for some balance.  Lost in the whole QB debate is whether or not Grant will be a fluke.  If Rodgers struggles at QB, things could get difficult for Grant.  I’d hate to pin my hopes on him.

Maurice Jones-Drew/Fred Taylor – MJD gets the TDs.  Fred Taylor gets the yards.  Will the recipe be the same in Jacksonville next year?  Most likely.  They compliment each other so well.  Unfortunately for fantasy owners it makes it difficult to rely on either one.  Obviously I give MJD the edge because of his age and his ability to reach paydirt.

Laurence Maroney – Did you see Maroney run in the playoffs?  I’m sure the Patriot Coaches did.  Heck, they probably even have video on it.  Bad jokes aside, I see the Patriots running a more balanced attack next year.  With the holes the passing game should open, Maroney should run wild.

Ronnie Brown – Until he got hurt, Ronnie Brown was having one of the best years by any RB.  Unfortunately he blew out his knee following an Interception (thanks Cleo Lemon) and will likely take a year or so to get back to form.

Brandon Jacobs – Brandon Jacobs is a beast.  He should have plenty of opportunity to score TDs.  He needs to prove he can stay healthy.  He’ll likely have to share carries with some capable running mates.

Edgerrin James – Edge had over 1400 total yards last year, but will turn the dreaded 30 next month.  That usually doesn’t go over very well for a Running Back.  The Cards have two extraordinary WRs to keep defenses honest, but I’d be shocked if Edge replicates his 2007 campaign.

Darren McFadden – This one is based on potential, but Run DMC sure seems to be this year’s version of Adrian Peterson.  I don’t see him running for as many yards, or breaking any records, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he finished in top ten for RB fantasy scoring.

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